New Orleans Jazz Fest Canceled Due to COVID-19 Concerns
Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

Add the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival to the list of outdoor festivals getting canceled amid a surge of COVID-19 cases.

The 2021 Jazz Fest was initially postponed to October 2021 and is now canceled, as Louisiana set a new record for COVID-19 hospitalizations four days in a row this week, reports.

As per Reuters, “Louisiana’s vaccination rate ranked it 47th among U.S. states for first doses given.” Recent data shows that “43 percent of Louisianans had received their first vaccine dose and just 37.1 percent were fully vaccinated. The respective figures for all the United States were 57.9 percent and 49.7 percent.”

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Louisiana is also seeing a decline in available nurses and hospital capacity. Earlier in the pandemic, Reuters reports, “state officials could count on federal help, or on nurses from other states. Now the staffing hole is simply far too large for the small federal teams available that have arrived to make much of an impact. And Delta is causing simultaneous surges around the country, sucking up nursing resources.”

Jazz Fest producers canceled Sunday, just nine days after putting tickets on sale for part of the festival. The festival is expected to return to its usual spring timeframe in 2022 and is scheduled for April 29-May 8.